Increasing your software development skills for 2020

Whether it’s a new startup or a commercial role, software development skills are in high demand. And developers can make...

Matthew Foot
5 min read Reading Time
24 February 2020 Date Created

Whether it’s a new startup or a commercial role, software development skills are in high demand. And developers can make the most of their value by showcasing their skills in return for high salary positions. In fact, the UK’s top developers earn 145% more than the average UK salary.

In these relatively new roles, formal training isn’t a prerequisite. The majority of software engineers don’t hold Computer Science degrees and a fifth are completely self-taught. So there’s no reason why you shouldn’t kick off 2020 with a commitment to changing the direction of your tech career or increasing your software development skills.

But where to start? What can you add to your skillset to make you really stand out from the crowd and get noticed by the UK’s top tech recruiters?

Learn A New Programming Language

One of the key things you can do to build your skills and boost your CV for software development jobs is to learn a new programming language. If you’re a developer with good experience, you’ll already know at least one foundational language, like Javascript, Python or Ruby. Rather than stick with what you know, show recruiters you’re a self-starter and learn another advanced language. Here’s why:

Wider understanding of software development

Learning another programming language will open up your knowledge of how languages interact with each other, which are functional, object-oriented, procedural and so on.

Better problem solver

Problem solving is an essential skill for software developers. If you can look for solutions across different languages, you’ll get better, quicker results for your projects.

Improve your adaptability

Many advanced languages have a lot of similarities. Don’t feel like you’ve boxed yourself in by picking one new language to learn. If your new employer is looking for someone with skills in a different language, you can show them that your learning curve will be a lot faster than other developers.

Get to the top of your career

Whether you’re dreaming of being a Full Stack Developer or a Software Architect, learning a new programming language is the first step to building a broad skillset that’s essential for these high-salary roles.

C, Rust, PHP, Typescript and newer languages like Scala are all in high demand at the moment. If you’re not sure which to choose, research based on the type of role you’re looking for in your next job; whether it’s blockchain, AI, security or IoT.

Know Your Containers

Efficiency is something that every software development company or team is striving for. Show that you can be a great team player for your new employer by making sure you’re up to speed with using containers like Docker. From the build stage through to testing and deployment, bundling apps in containers is now widely seen as the best way to run a project.

Care About Continuity

Another element of achieving peak efficiency is through the use of new tools for CI/CD – continuous integration and continuous delivery or continuous deployment. Software development teams are starting to use tools like Bamboo and Jenkins to streamline how they share work, test, and detect and fix bugs.

Jenkins is free and open source so if you’re just starting to learn about these tools in your own time, it may be a better option. But Bamboo is highly flexible and works well for big, complex projects so it’s becoming the preferred choice for larger organisations.

Get On The Cloud

While everyone is wise to the cost-saving benefits of shifting their environments to the cloud, there’s still a lot of misunderstanding about how to best manage cloud platforms once a company has made the switch. If you can build your knowledge of not only deploying and supporting apps on the most popular cloud platforms like Amazon Web Service (AWS), but also of the scaling, security and governance aspects, you’ll be way ahead of other developers for your next software development job.

What Will You Achieve in Software Development in 2020?

Whether you’re looking to re-route the path of your tech career and build your career prospects at the cutting edge of software development, or if you’re already a software developer looking to take on a new challenge, at Bristow Holland, our tech recruiters are experts in matching your skills with the best tech roles in the East of England.

Take a look at our current software development roles and get in contact with a member of our specialists.